5 Hot Weather Tips for Dogs & Cats
The dog days of summer have us sweating—and we don’t even have fur! Here are 5 simple ways to keep your dogs and cats cool and happy this summer.
Sunny summer days are the perfect time to hang out in the backyard with your pets! Whether they’re playing fetch, chasing butterflies, or just sunbathing on the patio with you, that’s a recipe for a blissful afternoon.
But your dog or cat is wearing a fur coat out there, and if they’re running and playing too, it’s all too easy to overheat! Dogs and cats can both pant to cool down and sweat a little bit through their paw pads, but they might need some help from you to stay safe and comfortable in the summer heat. (We’re all about avoiding heat stroke—no one wants an urgent trip to the emergency vet.)
Here are some easy hot weather tips to lower those body temps to keep your dogs and cats cool as a cucumber:
#1. Chill Their Water
When you’re hot, you reach for the ice water. Your pet can benefit from a frosty drink too!
Hydration is always important, but it’s especially important in hot weather. Keeping your pet’s water cold can cool their body temperature and make it more appealing for them to drink—leading them to actually hydrate more.
You might be filling your pet’s water bowl with cold water, but that water warms up quickly sitting on the floor. Try dropping a few ice cubes into their drink or spring for a freezable water bowl which works like an ice pack to keep your pet’s water colder for longer!
#2. Serve Up Frozen Treats
Cool down your hot dog or cat with their very own pet-friendly popsicles! Every lick will provide cooling, hydration, and enrichment as your pet works their way through their tasty snack.
Try tossing your pet’s favorite tube treat in the freezer for a classic ice pop vibe or serve up their wet food dinner frozen in a Kong or other hollow toy for fun and refreshment. (Added bonus: this will definitely slow down speedy eaters!) If you’re looking to get creative in the kitchen, try out some of our DIY frozen treat recipes!
#3. Wet That Pet!
Splashing in cold water feels amazing on a hot day—and your pets (might) agree! You can start small with a spray bottle, wet towel, or spritz from the hose to dampen your pet’s fur and let them cool down as it evaporates. For water-loving pets, a kiddy pool set up just for them makes the perfect spot for them to cool off their paws—or plop right in for a full body soak. You can even teach avid swimmers to use your full size pool!
Be careful if you have a dog or cat who’s double-coated or has long, fluffy fur because wetting it can have unintended effects! It’s easy for a light spray or splash of water to just wet the top layer of their fur, creating an insulating layer over the dry fur beneath and actually making your pet hotter.
Your long-haired pet can still benefit from a little water if you’re smart about where you wet them down. Focus on their paws, belly, and chest where their coat is thinner to allow for evaporation and get the cooling effect you’re looking for.
P.S. Don’t forget to keep up to date with your cat and dog grooming so your pet can shed all that extra fur (and keep it out of the pool)!
#4. Give Them a Personal Ice Pack
There are lots of products on the market made to cool your pet down! All they require is a little time in the fridge or freezer to chill before providing hours of relief for your BFF.
Cat and dog cooling vests and collars will allow your pet to stay comfortable on the move, while cooling mats for dogs and cats provide the perfect place for them to plop down for some serious refreshment and relaxation.
You can DIY this effect by freezing a damp towel to use as a cooling mat or body wrap, or by wrapping an ice pack in a towel and leaving it in their pet bed for them to cuddle up to. This can help keep your cat cool during heat waves—and your hot dog will nap much better in a cooling dog bed!
#5. Prepare an Indoor Retreat
Whether your pet has gotten a little overheated playing in the backyard or it’s just too hot for pets to safely be outdoors, you should have a cool, comfortable area for your pet to retreat to. If the shady spots outside are too hot for you, that means your dog won’t find relief in their dog house either!
Pull some blinds closed in the house to create shade and crank your fans or air conditioner to create a cool place to relax. If your home is still uncomfortably warm (our sympathies to you if your A/C is on the fritz), consider checking if your local dog kennels or dog boarding facilities have a doggie daycare program! Giving your pooch an air-conditioned place to play during the hottest part of the day might just be the best treat you could give them.
Keeping dogs safe in hot weather requires a little bit of planning! With these tips under your belt, your pup will be spending the summer months soaking their paws in the kiddy pool and your cat will be napping on their personal cooling mat without a worry in sight.